Sunday, April 29, 2007

A referenced list of famous or important living people who have made definite and clear statements that they have, or have at some time been diagnosed with, an autism spectrum condition
(famous aspies, Asperger syndrome)

This list is derived from a much larger list, which can be seen here:

Daniel Tammet (b.1979, British autistic mathematics, memory and language savant, holder of the European record for remembering and recounting the number pi, created and operates an online educational company, had epilepsy during childhood, reported to be diagnosed as autistic at age 25, Tammet also has vivid synaesthesia, speaks 11 languages and is creating a new language, is a Christian and is in a committed same-sex relationship)

Vernon L. Smith (b.1927, American professor of economics, winner of a Nobel Prize in economics in 2002, reported as having Asperger syndrome, which Prof. Smith and his wife have discussed in a media interview)

Gary Numan (b. 1958, real name Gary Webb, English electro-pop music pioneer, at the beginning of his career recorded under the name Tubeway Army, biggest hits were Are ‘Friends’ Electric? and Cars, an aviation enthusiast who has flown around the world, diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome by himself and his wife)

Craig Nicholls (b. 1977, Australian lead singer/songwriter/guitarist in Australian critically-acclaimed rock band The Vines, his childhood interests of painting and listening to the Beatles appear to have heavily influenced his musical composition and his accent, and the original art work that Nicholls created for CD covers has a style reminiscent of Beatles covers, Nicholls was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in 2004 by AS expert Dr Tony Attwood after being charged with assault, Nicholls found touring with the band to be stressful, his parents were consulted for information about what he was like as a child during the diagnostic process)

Peter Howson (b. 1958, Scottish painter, war, religion, working-class men and the popular singer Madonna are some themes covered in his work which has been collected by a number of celebrities, reported as having Asperger syndrome, a condition shared by his daughter)

Temple Grandin (b.1947, American animal science Associate Professor, industrial designer, writer and animal rights and autistic rights advocate, diagnosed with “brain damage” at age of 2, diagnosis changed to autism during childhood, formally diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when a adult)

Bram Cohen (b.1975, author of the BitTorrent computer downloading program, co-founder and CEO of the BitTorrent company, the first words that he learned to read were computer programming commands, displayed precocious talent in computer programming, dropped out of college, self-diagnosed with Asperger syndrome)

Richard Borcherds (b. 1959, winner of the Fields Medal in 1998 (considered to be as prestigious as a Nobel Prize, for which there is no prize in mathematics), currently a professor of mathematics in the US, born in Cape Town, a childhood special interest was constructing polyhedra, his talent in mathematics developed early, an accomplished chess player as a teen, educated in the UK, formerly at Cambridge University, diagnosed in 1998 with Asperger syndrome by Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen, a leading autism expert, Prof. Borcherds’ parents were consulted for information about what he was like as a child during the diagnostic process)

Dan Aykroyd (C.M.) (b. 1952, Canadian film actor, comedian, singer and screenwriter, one of the famous Blues Brothers, was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2000, in a somewhat confusing radio interview Aykroyd claimed to have been diagnosed as a child with Asperger and Tourette syndromes, and schizophrenia was also mentioned (in those days autism was sometimes erroneously described as “childhood schizophrenia”, and this may have confused the issue), his autistic special interest is law enforcement, which may have been an influence on Aykroyd’s screenplay of The Blues Brothers)


Baron-Cohen, Simon (2003) The essential difference. Penguin Books.
[Richard Borcherds]

Boyd, Brian (2006) Old friends electric. (The Irish Times).August 11 2006.
[Gary Numan]

Deveney, Catherine (2007) Autistic temperament. Scotland on Sunday. March 11 2007.
[Peter Howson]

Elder, Jennifer and Thomas, Marc (Illustrator) (2005) Different like me: my book of autism heroes. Jessica Kingsley, 2005.
[Temple Grandin]

Grandin, Temple (with Margaret Scariano) (1991) Emergence: Labeled Autistic. Arena Press, 1991.

Grandin, Temple (1995) Thinking in pictures: and other reports from my life with autism. 1st edition. Doubleday. 1995.

Gross, Terri. Comedian – and writer – Dan Aykroyd. Fresh Air. NPR. November 22 2004.
[Dan Aykroyd discusses his childhood diagnosis at around 29 minutes into this radio interview]

Herera, Sue (2005) Mild autism has ‘selective advantages’: Asperger syndrome can improve concentration. February 25 2005.
[Vernon L. Smith]

Lee, Ellen (2006) Founder of BitTorrent unlocks the secrets of online file sharing. San Francisco Chronicle. August 8th 2006 Edition: final, Section: business, p. F1.
[Bram Cohen]

McCabe, Kathy (2004) Rock and a hard place. (The Sydney) Daily Telegraph. November 20 2004, Edition: 1- state, Section: features, p.27.
[Craig Nicholls]

McCabe, Kathy (2004) Star's secret agony. (The Sydney) Daily Telegraph. November 20 2004, Edition: 1- state, Section: local, p. 3.
[Craig Nicholls]

McLean, Craig (2006) Stop Making Sense. Guardian Unlimited. The Observer (Magazine). March 5 2006.,,1723555,00.html
[Craig Nicholls]

Munro, Kelsey (2006) From the ashes with a vengeance. The Sydney Morning Herald. September 8th 2006, Edition: first, Section: news, p.13.
[Craig Nicholls] (2006) Craig Nicholls breaks his silence over Aspergers diagnosis. May 19 2006.

Roth, Daniel (2006) Torrential reign. In: The best American science and nature writing 2006. editor; Brian Greene, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006, p. 201-209.
[Bram Cohen]

Roth, Daniel (2005) Torrential reign. Fortune. October 31 2005.
[Bram Cohen] (2005) Gary Numan: it’s easy to be happy when you’re financially secure. May 11th 2005.

Tammet, Daniel (2006) Born on a blue day: a memoir of Asperger’s and an extraordinary mind. Hodder & Stoughton. 2006.

Wikipedia contributors (accessed 2007) Gary Numan. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Williams, Andrew (2006) 60 seconds: Gary Numan. Metro. November 6 2006. (2005) Bram Cohen: creator of BitTorrent.

Note to readers

If you notice any inaccuracies, omissions or reference citations that are incorrect or have dead links, please contact me and make a comment.

Copyright Lili Marlene 2005, 2006, 2007.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I don't know why I didn't think to put this web site into my links list earlier. It's a really important issue.

APANA - Autistic People Against Neuroleptic Abuse

I've seen first-hand what horrible damage these drugs can do to people (any kind of people, not only autistic people). These drugs are sometimes given to elderly people in nursing homes and to psychiatric patients, and even to children, who have their lives ahead of them. Some (maybe all, I don't know for sure) of these drugs can cause permanent brain damage resulting in uncontrollable and crazy-looking movements. It's hard to believe that anyone can legally prescribe drugs that are known to cause brain damage and permanent disability, isn't it?